Summer here in the US usually means the start of Kenya’s cooler season. With the weather forecast in the Chicago area showing temperatures in the 90’s, the current sublime temperatures in Nairobi would undoubtedly provide welcome relief. With the on-going challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19, any future mission trips to Kenya are not possible until we have a better handle on when it will be safe to travel. Not knowing the next time we’ll be able to visit the children and staff weighs heavy on us, so we do what we can to regularly stay in touch to hear news and updates from Nairobi. Currently, 22 children are living at Cheryl’s. The remainder of the students are staying with relatives or guardians. For the sponsored children not living at Cheryl’s, the staff has been checking in with families to monitor needs and providing money to help them purchase food. Kenya currently has just under 7,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the vast majority of them in Nairobi. The government has imposed an evening curfew between the hours of 9 pm – 4 am and has barred travel in an out of Nairobi to contain the spread. We are grateful the children and staff have continued to stay safe and healthy. Thank you for your continued prayers.
Closer and closer to a new home!
We are slowly getting closer to making this beautiful property a new home for Cheryl’s. We currently have a signed contract and anticipate closing on the property in August.
CHERISH WATOTO LEARNING CENTER
Similar to the circumstances in the United States, there is much to consider and prepare for schools to reopen. In Kenya, the Ministry of Education has released preliminary guidelines and schedules, but nothing has been confirmed and is contingent upon flattening the curve of infections. The tentative plan includes:
- Schools are scheduled to reopen on September 1.
- The traditional 2020 and 2021 school calendars will be revised and condensed.
- National Exams (KCPE – 8th Grade and KCSE – Form 4/Seniors) will be scheduled for Spring 2021.
- Increased safety and hygiene: masks, hand washing stations, social distancing, and decreasing class size.
Over the next few months, board members and our Director, Bernard Wandera, will be meeting monthly to continue monitoring, discussing, and planning for the impending changes to be implemented. After schools are reopened, our goal is to create the best balance of keeping children and staff healthy and safe, while working closely with our teachers to maximize learning for all the students. There will be additional costs, learning loss, and adjustment issues to consider. Still, we are all committed to working together for the benefit of the school, and most importantly, to nurture and care for these children.
We will send out updates when we have set and confirmed information.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR SPONSOR CHILD
We appreciate that these trying circumstances limit your communication and ability to connect with your sponsored child. It’s very stressful not knowing how they are doing! Please take comfort that despite stay at home orders and strict curfews, Cheryl’s staff are doing their best to safely stay connected to the children whenever possible. We know your thoughts and prayers are with your child, and the rest of our family at Cheryl’s. You are encouraged to send your child an email. Although it might be some time before some of the children receive their email, it will be a very welcomed surprise when they finally have the opportunity to read your loving and thoughtful message. You can email your child at: email@example.com
Please put your child’s name in the subject line. You can send pictures and videos if you would like. Your child will reply as soon as they are able.
Interested in sponsoring a child? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so grateful to Good Shepherd for all you do to support these children and Cheryl’s mission. We’re always available to help or answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We wish you all a happy and healthy summer.
Catherine Ainger and Ken Holland